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tv   Countdown With Keith Olbermann  MSNBC  April 2, 2010 8:00pm-9:00pm EDT

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good evening from new york. the month of march we learned today not only saw america add jobs but was the best month for job creation in three years. republicans responded by asking why president obama is doing nothing about jobs. the numbers themselves are nothing spectacular on their own, but compared to the past two years they represent a seed change in the economic direction. 162,000 more americans went to work in march than did the month before. and it turns out revises figures show that january, too, had seen an increase in jobs, rather than the loss earlier reported. unemployment remains unchanged at 9.7%. speaking at a north carolina battery plant expanding at hiring new workers, president obama told employees a lottery mains to be done to bring
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america's economy all the way back. but we are beginning to turn the corner. >> just one year ago we were losing more than 700,000 jobs each month. but the tough measures that we took, measures that were necessary, even though sometimes they were unpopular have broken this and are helping us to climb out of this recession. we've now added an average of more than 50,000 jobs each month over the first quarter of this year. and this month's increase of 162,000 jobs was the best news we've seen on the job front in more than two years. >> even before the numbers were out, republicans downplayed the increase pointing out as the labor department said that the increase includes 48,000 temporary census workers. republicans not counting those 48,000 additional americans who got paychecks last month because the paychecks came from the government. never mind those paychecks will intern stimulate local economies.
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republicans seem to forget that they're not a snapshot of the well beings of corporations but of the well being of americans. gop chair steele called it unacceptable for the president to declare economic success, which the president did not do and wrote that the job growth was a disappointment, quote, because job gains came mostly from census. mr. steele, a gain of 162,000 jobs does not come mostly from 48,000 of them. in fact the private sector created 123,000 jobs last month, including 17,000 manufacturing jobs. 17,000 actual new jobs making things. nevertheless, senate republican leader mcconnell questioned whether the stimulus helped at all. house republican whip said eric cantor said they deserved more than up and down roller coasters of the past few months. let's look at roller coaster of the past few years and see if you see where the stimulus might have kicked in. red represents the steeper and steeper job losses under
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president bush, you'll remember him. mr. obama's are in blue and so are his increases in the past few months. let's turn first to howard fineman, also senior washington correspondent, political columnist for "newsweek" magazine. howard, good evening. >> hi, keith. >> how much steeper would a rebound in that chart have to be for republicans to say, wowee, america sure is lucky to have barack obama in the white house? >> republicans are never going to do that, and to its credit, the white house isn't expecting them to. and as you said, he was being careful not to overpromise or overcrow if i can create a term there. and there are two reasons, one is to control expectations. that's the political side. but the substantive side from talking to one of the leading outside business advisers to this administration, he told me earlier that the white house continues to be very concerned about the long-term unemployment and debt situation.
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they know they're facing a long climb out of this, that there are structural changes in the job force. for example now more women working than men. it's going to be a long climb back and the white house knows that. >> that red and blue graph with the perfect formation almost mirror formation, are the democrats smart enough to take that graph and put it on every ad from now to november and ask which side of the curve should america be on? >> i think they are, and talking to gene sperling, one of the top treasury officials a while ago, yeah. gene goes back to the clinton years, knows how to talk about the economy in political terms, and he said darn yes this is real growth. he focused on those manufacturing jobs. the trend is in the right direction. they know that, and the democrats will get out there and aggressively sell it. the president's job approval numbers are down now, but if these numbers continue month by month, and if that chart continues to change in a positive direction, you can be sure that that's what they're going to be selling and selling hard in the fall. >> are people going fob buying it without a significant change
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in unemployment numbers between now and november, whichredigiti >> that's what gene says, still plus 9% unemployment. another thing is the debt situation and the possibility of more mortgage foreclosures. you know, that's the next wave to come yet again, and i think that's something that they're looking at. there's just a huge amount of debt that americans are trying to work their way out of on the family side, which is why they're not spending, which is why the recovery isn't more robust yet. >> what does it mean that republicans discount 48,000 jobs because the people who got those jobs now work for the government? i mean, it's a fair, appropriate caveat to make, but doesn't it also feel like they come across as less concerned about the fate of the workers than of businesses? >> well, there's no question, and that's a very good point that you make. but beyond that it shows me that the republicans don't understand. they make this false dichotomy between the public sector and the private sector. if you look at american history, it's the combination of the two
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that's made the economy robust. whether it was public works projects and road building a century and a half ago, where today we're dealing with human capital. and if i can make a point here, the census is about collecting data on the great human capital that are the people of the united states. there's actually gold in them there hills, keith. that data is valuable. so even looked at in republican terms, this is a very valuable thing that the census workers are doing, even if you don't want to look at the human side of the equation. >> but you know this, if obama managed to hire personally 275,000 people to work at the white house in meaningful jobs, the republicans would accuse him of wasting taxpayer money. >> the good thing about the president, the good and bad thing about the president is he doesn't waste his time these days worrying about the core -- what the core of the republican party thinks. that's gotten him in some trouble in terms of partisan politics, but it also allows him to think in big terms which i
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think he's doing now. >> howard fineman, great thanks for your time tonight. have a great weekend, howard. >> thanks, you too, keith. of course playing defense on jobs does not keep republicans from being on the offense on health care. house leader boehner tieing the two issues together in an op-ed piece today suggesting that the new health care laws will cost america jobs rather than create them. boehner, pointing to several big employers claiming new health plan taxes will cost them tens of millions of dollars. house speaker pelosi pushing back today with an estimate of a net 4 million jobs created, all tolled, from health care reform. republican senator jim demint upping the ante claiming the irs will hire 16,000 new personnel to enforce the insurance mandate saying yesterday it could mean maybe hundreds of thousands of new jobs. that also related to health care. in so much as senator demint could have obtained it with the help of a good productologist.
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good evening, sir. >> good to be here, keith. >> let's start with the 16,000 irs personnel, or how ever million it might be in mr. deminute's estimate. the enforcers, that's what they're supposed to be? >> yes. you're going to have to cut me off, i'm warning you now. 16,000 new agents. there are currently 17,000 irs agents. okay? so what he's saying is this small provision of the tax code, this little tax credit, requires that we double our enforcement personnel. and the agents are the people with badges at the irs. there's a total of 93,000 people working at the irs who are not involved in those same activities. and so he's gone on to say rhetorically at certain points, he's gotten carried away to say it may require hundreds of thousands of new people at the irs. which is currently under 100,000 people. >> okay. >> so he is so far off on this
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thing. we could go on and on about it. and one of the great delights in this is a piece of legislative language. we don't do a lot of legislative language here but i think you'll like this one. >> please. >> because on the enforcement provision of the individual mandate, which is what they're talking about. they're talking about they're going to have agents with guns chasing you to make sure you've bought health insurance. here's what the law now says about the enforcement of the mandate. it says in the case of any failure by a taxpayer to timely pay any penalty imposed by this section, such taxpayer shall not be subject to any criminal prosecution or penalty with respect to such failure. so the penalty for failing to pay the tax if you fail to have health insurance is nothing. the question then becomes how many irs agencies do you need to enforce an unenforceable provision? >> not even an unenforceable provision but unenforced
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provision. >> specifically written to not be enforced. the great secret of the bill is there is no real mandate. we're not supposed to tell people this because then they might not bip the health insurance. >> i've got it now. that's an obama secret army dressed up as irs agents. mr. boehner's numbers here that companies are claiming millions in losses, but does that equal job losses, or once again are the republicans representing the idea of the corporate human being? is his best friend mr. chevron? >> thanks to the days when republicans were writing the tax code, these big corporations that boehner is worried about are getting away with murder on double-dipping on a tax credit and deduction for health care that has been wisely written out of the law. now, those companies have come forward and said, whoa, this changes our bookkeeping now. we're going to have to record a very big tax cut, a very big tax hit in our books. they have not said, and we're going to have to cut jobs as a result.
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one of these companies, goodrich is saying it's going to cost us $10 million. that is not very many tires to goodrich. they're not talking about cutting jobs, they're talking about fairly paying their taxes in a way they haven't before. >> the other number thrown out from the speaker, 4 million new jobs, is that credible? >> that's wishful thinking. we're talking about picking up maybe 32 million people into the health insurance system, would that add 4 million jobs? once you expand it out, economists can expand the multiplier factor and say the hot dog stand outside that clinic is going to sell more hot dogs because the line to the clinic is going to be longer, you might be able to get to 4 million somewhere down the road but i wouldn't want to have to justify that one. >> it counts to people who take care of the guys who clean the pharmacies at night. got it. >> it's theoretically possible. >> lawrence o'donnell, reading statute for us. >> i could go on and on. >> it was beautifully done, as always, great thinks. >> thanks, keith. a list of the top ten ways
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the insurance industry is likely to try to game the new system under health reform, with wendell potter. and not one of the top ten ways to change, telling governors to resign in three days or they will be moved by nonviolent patriots. governor ed rendell makes his first comments on the subject coming up exclusively here on "countdown." - easy on the grass please. - chocolate. and 10 percent what i like to call the "wow factor." walgreens makes putting together the perfect basket easy. with reese's peanut butter eggs, oreo cookies, starburst jelly beans, and more. then personalize it with something special. an egg-to-bunny ratio of four to one is crucial. walgreens. there's a way to make every bunny happy. an egg-to-bunny ratio of four to one is crucial. this is what it's like getting an amazing discount on a hotel with travelocity's new top secret hotels. ahh. and this is what it's like when you have to bid on a hotel. aaaaaaaah! travelocity's top secret hotels...
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one of at least 30 governors to receive a letter demanding he resign within three days or face, quote, removal, joins us for his first and exclusive interview with it. the whistleblower on the insurance industry, the top ten ways to evade health care reform. a cnn commentator threatening to pull a shotgun on any suns us volunteer who shows up on his property. and the saga of this titan literary and humor history wound up writing the last segment of tonight's show. an everyday moment can turn romantic at a moment's notice. and when it does, men with erectile dysfunction can be more confident in their ability to be ready
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never any doubt that insurance companies would try to game the system even after health care reform passed, in our fourth story, for every piece of the new law expect a mammoth attempt at avoiders. wendell potter joins us in a moment. sentiment, if not practicality, following along the lines of this anecdote. a senior fellow at the brookings institution overhearing an insurance company executive joking about the prospect of being forced to sell plans to the elderly, according to the huffington post. quoting, we'll sponsor dances and make our pitch at 11:00 p.m. more, we'll put the company's office on the second floor with no elevator. indeed, the top ten ways in which insurance companies might game the system is a major
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thrust by making things difficult for the consumer or the doctors. another way would be to simply take advantage of what the health care bill fails to do. for example, adults with preexisting conditions do not get mandated coverage until 2014. until 2014, there is no prohib igs on companies raising premiums at outrageous rates. aetna and cigna. well point is trying to meet new laws about the ratio of your money that goes to your care, joining me now as promised former head of public relations for cigna, currently the senior fellow on health care for the center for media and democracy, weeke wendell, good evening. >> good evening, keith. >> a huge part seems to be insurance companies exploiting to the absolutely hilt, provisions that don't go into effect any time in the immediate
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future, correct? >> correct. another way they'll be able to charge us more is, as those -- as we get older, charge us as least three times as much when we're older than when we're young. that's one of the things the legislation enables them to do. and they will be shifting a lot more of the cost of health care from them to us as part of their effort to give us more skin in the game, as they put it. >> and the efforts to minimize the impact, the effects of new requirements in reform, how big a problem is the -- is the doing it as little as possible way out of this for them? >> it's a very significant problem. they have hundreds of lawyers who are looking at every sentence in this legislation to figure out where there might be a loophole and how they might avoid paying for care. that's what their shareholders expect and analysts on wall street expect, for them to pay less and less for health care
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every year, every quarter as a matter of fact. so they'll be looking at ways they can do that. particularly as they are forced to take, eventually to cover preexisting conditions. they'll be looking for new ways to deny care and avoid paying for care. >> speaking of the preexisting conditions, the insurance cartel did back down in that thing we've discussed for the full week now about the near immediate mandate to cover children with preexisting conditions, one the secretary of health and human services, secretary sebelius, threatened new regulations and news outlets covered the prospect of that. is that a template for what the obama administration can use to battle back against the pushback from the health care industry? >> i think it is. and the administration and congress and others will have to watch the insurance industry very, very closely. even when they say that they will abide by the letter of the law, if they think that there is any wiggle room or someone's not
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paying attention, they'll try to flat regulations, as they have for many years. >> which additional laws will be needed to sort of close those gaps and those loopholes? i think they've become pretty obvious once the insurance companies' most egregious new actions come to light. we saw that in some degree to get around the giving of insurance to kids with preexisting conditions. but do we, once it's obvious what laws are going to be needed to supplement these current laws, how difficult is that going to be after this experience of the year-long battle to get just this far in health care reform? >> it will clearly be different, but -- or difficult. but keep in mind, i think most of us will have said that this is the beginning for reform, and this will be something that will have to happen over the course of time. and i think that people will become increasingly aware that the public option is going to be needed to keep these companies honest. i think as we start seeing more and more about what they're going to be doing to get around this law, we'll see how important it is for the public
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option to be enacted. >> do you see that as a result of these extraordinary spikes in premiums that we'll be charged in the next four years? >> absolutely. i think they clearly want to get as much as they can from premiums before the legislation kicks in. one provision is if they want to sell insurance through the exchanges, they can't gouge too much. but they certainly are going to be trying to raise rates as much as they can get away with. >> wendell potter, the former insurance executive from cigna, now with the center for media and democracy, as always, thanks for your time. remember the monty python movie where the group in jerusalem plans to -- a current right wing group did not get the joke, they thought that was an instructional movie of some kind much they've written to state governors and demand they leave in three days.
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dr. cassel, meet h aye p-p-o-c-r-t-i-s, the flr physician who doesn't want to treat you if you voted for obama. this poignant, hilarious thought provoking story, a book favorably compared to catcher in the rye, you will not be wasting
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your time, money or emotion. let's play "oddball." to key largo where good friday is celebrated by local tradition via the scuba diving easter bunny. multi colored eggs placed around a coral reef. before you scream ecocrime, be aware that real eggs and nontoxic colorings were used. waterlogged salty eggs. ahh. a local dive center plans an underwater easter egg hunt on sunday and later brunch featuring, what else, eggs over easy, scrambled, poached, salty. you get the idea. it will benefit charity and gives this guy something to do, other than his underwater santa claus theme. underwater tick tack toe. if you think there is no good reason to go under water to play this, or even above water, you would be correct.
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unless you're trying to break the world record for the longest consecutive game for underwater tic-tac-toe. this time it's the owner of a diving business and 36 of his friends shooting for 36 hours. two divers at a time, one-hour shifts. somehow that sounds like cheating. anyway, this too benefits charity. and to belgium, and from the great underwater depths, a giant japanese sea crab. allowing for obvious appalachians cram still la. legs are five feet wide. the big fellow was visiting that aquarium following a stay in birmingham, england. kind of a crab on the road. his tank is prechilled to match his environments. he's very docile and doesn't even bother those smaller crabs. at least the smaller crabs we've heard from lately.
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there are people's heads in there. governor ed rendell's first interview since he and 29 other governors received letters from a right wing group demanding their resignations or prepare doing removed. ft and very thick. ft and very thick. everybody thinks he's the most handsome cat they've ever seen. [ woman announcing ] purina one for indoor cats... unlocks the brilliance of nature... with a natural fiber blend that helps minimize hairballs... and maintain a healthy weight. [ laurie ] he's a character. he brings so much laughter into this household. and he's the best-lookin' cat there is. [ announcer ] it's amazing what one can do.
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the offices of at least 30 american governors have received letters from a fringe group warning the state executives to resign or face, quote, removal. our third story, the first comments from governor ed rendell of pennsylvania when he joins us in a moment. this group appears to be nonviolent in its intent, just seriously confused about the nation's laws and electoral process. but in the wake of the hutaree plot, the fbi is worried what it might inspire from groups on either farther fringes. the group calls itself guardians of the free republics and has sent them to governors of both parties and has issued a deadline in three days. it includes this, we are concerned that unidentified individuals could attempt to follow through with this call to
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action through violent and criminal means. the fbi says the group appears to be nonviolent and aligns itself with the sovereign citizens movement, those who believe they are exempt from basic civic duties, like paying taxes. replace corporate government and restore the american public, quietly efficiently without provoking violence or civil war. well, they already missed on ridicule. joining me, pennsylvania governor ed rendell. >> how are you? >> threat is in the eye of the beholder. do you interpret this as a threat of any kind? >> not really. if you could read the massive epistle they sent us, it's more comical than anything. i don't know what remove means, but they give us our website, so i don't think they're about to do violence and identify themselves by giving their website. when i was da, we had a saying, if they call they're not coming. and you know, so i don't feel threatened at all. but it is very disheartening,
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and to be honest -- and i've said this before, it's tremendously disheartening the level of discourse in america, and what's going on. it seems to be a total breakdown of civility. it seems to be threats, and the threats are not just on one side of the equation, they can be on both sides of the equation. i happened to be on fox when the health care vote was taken, and boehner's speech followed by nancy pelosi's speech and then the vote. and they came back to me after it passed and i said how good i thought the health care bill was for the country, not perfect but good, and how i thought it was going to, as people learned more about it, how it was going to be more highly regarded. and we got at the governor's residence about 15 or 16 very angry phone calls, angry because i was smiling. because i was smiling. >> but that leads to my next question, is where do you think, i mean, is this a spotlight,
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sort of benign spotlight on the disconnect, uneasiness or lack of courtesy of our time or is there some other meaning for what is happening here? >> i think this is all being prompted by the lack of civility and by the anger in political debat debates. not just in washington, but in harrisburg, sacramento, albany, springfield. political discourse has become so rigid, so partisan and so unwilling to put heads together and try to do thing that's are for the benefit of the people, that it -- it inspires anger. i saw representative boehner's speech before speaker pelosis. and it wasn't so much what he said, but the angry tone. it was like a call to arms. and it was frightening. and you know, he's an intelligent man. but to deliver that speech in that tone was basically just base baiting and it's not hard
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to understand why people who don't truly grasp what's going on, who are misinformed and ill informed why they are whipped to a fevered pitch. and it is absolutely disheartening. and so many of the republicans, and it's not just republicans, but so many of the republicans always pay homage to ronald reagan. ronald reagan wouldn't have stood for this for one second. barry goldwater, not for one second. i was so disappointed by john mccain. he had a chance to speak up and really put ab end to this. ronald reagan would have done it, barry gold water would have done this. he could have said this is america, we can disagree but we don't have to be disagreeable. we all agree on goals, let's figure out how to get there together. i've been an elected official for 33 years and i'm disgusted with my profession right now. >> is this why you spoetz the fbi is treating this a little bit more seriously than, you know, essentially long formal
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requests that you guys all leave and leave the various governors' mansions to these fringe groups, why they seem to be taking it more seriously than they otherwise would? >> absolutely. if you look at the list of 30 governors, it truly is bipartis bipartisan. i think the fbi is legitimately worried. but it's not surprising. every time i'm on television, whether it's the sunday shows or -- and i say something nice about the president, we get all sorts of nastiness. and nastiness, some stuff that i couldn't repeat on the air. i mean, just really bad stuff. and -- and good god, what's happening to us? and the question is where does it end? and how does it end, and how do we bring a stop to it? that's to me the seminal question for the american discourse for where we're going to go. we need some people to stand up, and we need some republicans to stand up and we need some
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democrats to stand up, and we need a clear message, cut it out. cut it out. we don't appreciate lunacy or threats on either side of the equation. let's get back to what made this country a very special place. but somebody's got to do it. somebody's got to do it and it's got to be done in a bipartisan way. if we ever needed a ronald reagan or a jack kennedy or barry goldwater we need him now. i think the president is trying. he's trying his best but he's in a very hostile atmosphere. he's got to fight back. as you may recall i was on the air early on saying, let's fight back. but fight back because we need to get stuff passed. but somebody's got to step back, take a deep breath and say enough is snuff. >> amen. ed rendell, thanks for your time, under the circumstances particularly tonight. take care. >> thanks, keith. how i wound up with the privilege of including some of the greatest humorist writing at
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the end of this show. how flooded out americans could have i'm not sure what rachel is doing but it involves job gains and bikinis. if that can't get you to stay around, i don't know what could. honey nut cheerios is coming in a little short. you've got more whole grain in your little finger! let's get ready for breakfaaaaaaaaaast! ( ding, cheering, ringing ) keeping you full and focused with more than double the fiber and whole grain... in every tasty bite -- frrrrrrosted mini-wheeeeats! didn't know i had it in me.
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t. rowe price. invest with confidence. request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment objectives, risks, fees, expenses, and other information to read and consider carefully before investing. now tonight's comment, and once again life imitates art. i was just telling this story last night, it was one of the inspirations for one of the worst persons segments. george carlen used to joke about the fact that literally somewhere on earth there had to be the world's worst doctor, and someone has an appointment to see him tomorrow. well, we found him. dr. jack cassel. he is a urologist. this was sent to the paper "the orlando sent nell" if you voted for obama, the sign reads, seek your care elsewhere. changes to your health care begin right now, not if four years.
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it is bad enough to a physician could ignore the rules that are supposed to be the first things he learns, treating those that need help, et cetera, but this weasel has tried to parse his way out of it. dr. cassel tried to finesse the thing. i'm not turning anybody away. that would be unethical, he said. but if they read the sign and turn the other way, so be it. of course this is a distinction without a difference. that the doctor is hiding behind his passive aggressive politics first, healing second idea does not change the fact that the photo was sent to the paper because a patient referred to dr. cassel saw the sign and sought care elsewhere just as the sign and doctor told him to. the doctor admits three patients complained to him about the sign. this is another case in which conduct by a conservative, his office is full of anti-health care reform flyers, he preferred not to treat people who support the president and his wife is running for local office as a republican. behavior like that is considered perfectly acceptable, even admirable by conservatives. but it is almost inconceivable
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to liberals. and before that is dismissed as partisan rhetoric, remember the health care clinics you paid for? nobody was asked their political viewpoint before they got care, it would have been unthinkable. just as unthinkable as the fact that you and i, as layman have greater medical ethics than this b barber in florida, dr. cassel. i was active, eating healthy. i thought i was in great shape. so i was surprised when my doctor told me i still had high cholesterol. that really hit me, and got me thinking about my health. i knew i had to get my cholesterol under control.
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experiment next. but first here are tonight's worst persons in the world. the bronze to eric erickson of cnn and the conservative site red state says you should fill out the census it's a constitutional obligation. but the more detailed sup meant tri the american community survey, not so much. i dare them to try and throw me in jail. i dare them to. pull out my wife's shotgun and see how that twerp likes being at my door. they don't have the legal right. yet they're trying. >> yet now available without a prescription on the new john king show. cnn is not in the business of incendiary opinion over there, they do real journalism with responsible analysts. they'll tell you, while eric erickson is hiding behind his wife's shotgun. by the way, what's the deal here? eric eric son, lars larson, hugh hewitt, can't they afford two
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names? keith keitherson. you may have noticed limbaugh does not take well to criticism. speaking of mr. obama, limbaugh asked, who has called him a nazi? who do we know that's called him a nazi? socialist? yeah. stalinist? yeah. nazi? we compare health care in america to what the nazis tried to do in germany and get the control of the people in that regard. limbaugh is hiding behind a very small fig leaf in this regard, sorry for that imagery. each tea party features obama with a hitler mustache, swastika or both. he said adolf hitler, like barack obama, also ruled by dictate. last august 10th, limbaugh said the flag at whitehouse.gov looked like hitler's youth movement.
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then he cited "mein kompf" and called the stimulus a big lie. he was just saying he is as bad as nazis. not calling him a nazi. see? when you ask how limbaugh sleeps at night, that's how. that, and the drugs. but jim bunning and come tom coburn. there were accidental cuts elsewhere to american flood victims. the unemployment extension packages also included the extension of the national flood insurance program. the bunning and coburn rants managed to delay the extension of it, creating a hole for untolled americans. in the wake of the worst flooding in 100 years, flood policies in flood plains, some became ineligible to renew until april 12th or therefore.
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if there's bad rain in the northeast for say the next ten days, and people whose insurance had run out, get flooded out, they are out of luck. thanks to senators jim bunning and tom coburn, today's worst persons in the world. ♪
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so months ago when i started reading allowed to my late father in the hospital, he did something he had never done before. he made a suggestion about the show. he said you should read those james thurber stories on the air. he said, it's your show and they are great. nevertheless, it seemed an unlikely story at best, then i
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read him "the piece like mon goose" one night while talking about end of life care, i read it again on "countdown." that's why i'm sitting here again tonight in the come if i chair. some background. james thurber was probably the best humorist of the century. his works inspired several plays and movies, most notably the secret life of walter mitty and the animal. full-time artists of his time considered him one of them, and his captions often a singular mix of mundane life and utterly bizarre are probably unmatched in cartooning. all right, have it your way, you heard a seal bark. he died in 1961. after i read on the show, i got a call from his literary agents and i'm thinking it's a bill. it was anything but. four regular viewers happened to be watching that day, bar bra hogue beson and laurie styler
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who works with barbara and james' daughter, and her daughter sara. and they were delighted. they all thought there was no better way to honor rosemary's father and mine than for me to every once in a while read a short story or fable to close out the week here. so i'll start with my absolutely favorite, i first read it out loud in 1979 in college and a friend of mine said quit broadcasting stuff and read him allowed full time. i'd be happy to do it. this was in the 1935 book "the middle-aged man on the flying tr trapeze." a box to hide in. i waited till the large woman with the awful hat took up her sack of groceries and went out peering at the tomatoes and let
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tuesd lettuce. have you got a box? i want a box to hide in. you want a box? he asked. i want a box to hide in. i said. what do you mean, he said. you mean a big box? i said, i meant a big box, big enough to hold me. oh, i haven't got any boxes, he said. only cartons that cans come in. i tried several other groceries and none of them had a box big enough for me to hide in. there was nothing for it but to face life out. i had this overpowering desire to hide in a box for a long time. what do you mean, you want to hide in this box, one grocer asked me. it's a form of escape, i told him. hiding in a box, it circumscribes your buries and the range of your anguish. you don't see people, either. how in the hell do you eat when you're in this box, asked the grocer. i said i'd never been in a box and didn't know, but that would take care of itself.
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well, he said finally, i haven't got any boxes, only some cartons that cans come in. it was the same every place. i gave up when it got dark and the groceries closed and hid in my room again, turned out the light and lay on the bed, and feel better when it gets dark. i could have hid in a closet, i suppose, but people are always opening doors. somebody would find you in a closet, they would be startled, and you'd have to tell them why you're in the closet. nobody pays attention to a big box lying on the floor. you could stay in it for days and nobody would think to look in it. not even the cleaning woman. my cleaning woman came the next morning and woke me up. i was still feeling bad. i asked her if she knew where i could get a large box. how big a box you want, she asked. i want a box big enough for me to get inside of, i said. she looked at me with big, dim
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eyes. there's something wrong with her glands. she's awful. but she has a big heart, which makes it worse. she's unbearable. her husband is sick, and her children are sick, and she is sick, too. i got to thinking about how pleasant it would be if i were in a box now and didn't have to see her. i'd be in a box right there in the room and she wouldn't know. i wondered if you have a desire to bark or laugh when someone who doesn't know walks by the box you're in. maybe she would have a spell with her heart if i did that and would die right there. the officers and the elevator man and mr. grammage would find us. funny dog gone thing happened last night, the doorman would say to his wife. i let in this woman to clean up 10-f and she never came out, see? she never came out, see? so when i got off duty, i says, what the hell you suppose happened to the woman that cleans 10-f? he says he didn't know. he never seen her after he took
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her up. so i spoke to mr. grammage about it. sorry to bother you, mr. grammage, i says, but there's something funny about that woman that cleans 10-f. so i told him, he said we better have a look, and we all three goes up, knocks on the door, rings the bell, see, nobody answers. so he said we'd have to walk in. so he opened the door and we walked in, and there was this woman, cleans the apartment, dead as a herring on the floor, and the gentleman that lives there was in a box. the cleaning woman kept looking at me. it was hard for me to realize she wasn't dead. it's a form of escape, i murmured. what say? she asked dully. you don't know of any large packing boxes, do you? i asked. no, i don't, she said.
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i haven't found one yet. but i still have this overpowering urge to hide in a box. maybe it will go away. maybe i'll be all right. maybe it will get worse. it's hard to say. so that's "countdown." portions written by james thurbor. i always wanted to say that. i'm keith olbermann. good night, and good luck. friday night on "the rachel maddow show," the monthly jobs numbers are out, and they're kind of okay. cue the republican outrage. those numbers aren't really kind of okay, and even if they were -- >> hell no, you can't. >> ezra klein is here with
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analysis. the embarrassment gets deeper for mirkle steele. expense reports show they bought $1,000 worth of office supplies at a liquor store? liquid paper. this show doesn't do gadget segments, gadget segments are just ads for gadgets. we don't show -- ooh, ipad, never mind. and she'll be here to show off her new toy. the right wing's war on a.c.o.r.n. is complete. a.c.o.r.n. is officially no more. the war on them was based on pure bullpucky. and last night i called it what it is. boat jail. you our viewers responded with doubt. but we have accredited experts who swear. >> boat jail. >> boat jail. >> boat jail, it be called. >> more show than we have time for right now on "the rachel maddow show."
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thank you very much for joining us to share your friday night tonight, as you can tell we have a very big show ahead. where we begin is with a larger than life chart. we are admittedly a little chart and graph crazy around here. and tonight is a night where we've just decided to stop fighting it and give in. we have kent jones standing by at our big, sort of interactive magical chart wall. hi, kent. >> hello. it's huge. >> sort of interactive is the important part here. the reason we had to call in kent and the big chart wall is because today was one of those where's the country headed days? one of those, are we crawling out of the great recession or not days. today president obama and the white house hailed the release of the latest round of job numbers, and that's not ordinarily the most exciting thing in the world, b

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